Australia, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan are among worst performers
A climate performance index launched alongside the Cop26 summit left the top three spots empty, saying no country is doing enough to combat the crisis.
It announced its ranking for 60 countries that account for more than 90 per cent of the world’s emissions based on their climate change mitigation efforts.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) developed by Germanwatch, New Climate Institute and Climate Action Network (CAN) ranked Denmark, Sweden and Norway on the fourth, fifth and sixth spots, the highest ranks attained by any country.
The index assessed countries in four categories — greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.
“Places one to three again remain vacant because no country’s measures thus far have been sufficient to achieve an overall ‘very high’ rating – none are following a path necessary to keep global warming within the 1.5C limit,” the report published on the new New Climate Institute’s website on Tuesday said.
The report estimated that Scandinavian countries, together with the United Kingdom and Morocco, lead the race to zero. The UK and Morocco ranked seventh and eighth.
“Scandinavian countries achieved the best results mainly thanks to their outstanding efforts in renewable energy. Notably, Norway stands out as the only country to be awarded a ‘very high’ rating in this category,” it said.
It ranked Australia, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan among the worst performers.
While India retained its 10th position in the index as a high performer, it was assessed poorly on the renewable energy front since the country still heavily depends on coal. The index did not take prime minister Narendra Modi’s new climate pledges into consideration.
“The country [India] still benefits from its relatively low per capita emissions. However, in the mid-term trend, these are quickly rising and only the ambitious implementation of strong climate targets can prevent India from falling in the CCPI ranking.”
Among the G20 countries, only India, the UK and the European Union, which is assessed as one entity, were ranked among the high performers. Six G20 countries — Saudi Arabia, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Russia and the US — were very low performers.
Hungary and Slovenia are this year’s worst-performing EU countries.
The world’s largest emitter, China, has fallen down in the rankings to the 37th position with an overall “low” rating.
“Its biggest problem areas are high emissions and very poor energy efficiency. In both areas, the 2030 targets are also far from a Paris Agreement-compatible pathway,” the report said. “In contrast, China’s trend in renewable energy is very good, even before Germany.”
The US has ranked higher in the index in the first year of Biden administration, climbing to the 55th spot from the bottom of the index last year. But the country still remained in the “very low” performance category.